If you are starting your own business, be it a freelancer or a sole proprietor, and cannot justify yourself as an accountant, one way to get more organized is to use online accounting software.
This will not only save you hours of accounting time, but it will also fit your budget and needs while improving the efficiency of your business.
We’ve compiled a list of 6 of the best online accounting software options available today, each with benefits to help you better manage your time, accounts, accounting and clients. You can browse them all in terms of ease of use, features and prices to find the one that best suits your needs.
1. Intuit QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks is the most widely used online accounting software due to its user-friendly interface and many features.
It also scales as you grow and makes it easy for new users to learn how it all works by offering tutorials, videos, and guides. A help forum is also available, although it may take longer for you to find the exact and correct answer to your query.
Intuit seems to be phasing out its desktop version of the software to focus more on that online version, but you can still upgrade to the online version if you’ve been using the desktop version.
No matter the size or shape of your business, there is a package to suit your needs. It can be more expensive than its competitors, but it does more value by saving your business more time and resources.
All of its plans include unlimited chat or phone support, the ability to connect to a credit card or bank account, and accept online payments. They also offer access to financial statements such as balance sheet and profit and loss.
More advanced QBO plans allow you to track inventory and time, manage 1,099 contractors and provide full service payroll.
You can install its easy-to-use clients on Windows or macOS desktop, although the Mac version has fewer features compared to Windows or the online version. Besides browser accessibility, you can get QBO for mobile by downloading the Android or iOS app.
FreshBooks is a great tool for sole proprietors and freelancers looking for a simple accounting system to streamline billing and payment collection.
It is intuitive, comprehensive and one of the simplest online accounting tools that you can use for invoicing, time tracking, payments, and reporting.
Some of its features include dual accounting, project tracking support, the ability to track business hours, and over 100 customizable invoice templates. It also shows you where your client opened an account so that he doesn’t send you annoying excuses that they didn’t receive it.
Whether you’re sending recurring invoices, running a subscription business, or needing time tracking for yourself or your contractors, FreshBooks may be perfect for you.
It integrates with many business applications and offers a dashboard where you can manage your accounting and finances.
Also included is a mobile app for Android or iOS devices so you can track your business on the go and make secure backups regularly.
Wave is a free online accounting tool designed for businesses on a budget.
It stands out from other accounting software because it offers most of its features for free, such as the ability to track your finances on one platform instead of going from one application to another for different personal and business finances.
You also get free billing and receipts, but you pay a specific amount if you want to use services like personal technical support, payroll or payment processing that are integrated with its suite of accounting tools.
The main drawback of this accounting software is that it is not as detailed as QuickBooks and the other options on this list, but it should work just fine if you only have basic needs. Plus, it doesn’t track or pay vendor bills and shows you ads like you’d expect from any free online service.
Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS devices, although not as comprehensive as with other accounting programs.
4. Zoho Books
Zoho Books is part of the Zoho cloud software suite. It is an online accounting application that helps you manage your money and gives you complete information about your finances.
It is ideal for small businesses with fewer employees, inventory, and simpler needs to help manage cash flow and finances.
Zoho Books prides itself on its ease of use and provides easy-to-understand charts and dashboards, as well as automatic payment reminders for customers who don’t pay on time. Plus, it offers financial reports, manual journals, inventory and collaboration tools, and more.
It also integrates with other applications from the Zoho suite of products, so you don’t need to use multiple applications to run your business. This sets it apart from other accounting software tools on this list.
Its main disadvantage is the limited number of payroll, which is why some users may find other software with this feature.
All of its pricing plans include the ability to accept online payments, give multiple users access to financial records, credit cards, and bank accounts, and maintain financial statements like balances or profit and loss. Mobile apps for Android and iOS devices are also available.
5. Sage 50cloud
It is a reliable online accounting application for small businesses. It is a complete accounting software that allows you to focus more on growing your business rather than spending time managing your accounts.
Its user interface is easy to use for small businesses and entrepreneurs to operate efficiently and effectively. In addition, it offers a complete set of financial instruments and customization options.
Sage 50Cloud is ideal for small and medium businesses and provides tools for invoicing, tracking payments and expenses, and calculating taxes.
But what you don’t get is time tracking and collaboration tools. Payroll is also not included as it is offered as a standalone product.
The software integrates with Microsoft Office 365, which means you can share data in the cloud with productivity apps.
It does not have a toolbar, however, and is a bit pricey compared to similar options on this list. However, you will get access to an extremely sophisticated feature set, highly customizable options, and mobile apps for Android and iOS for your convenience.
Xero is an online accounting software for business owners looking for a QuickBooks alternative.
It offers almost all of the features you can find in QuickBooks, except that it does not charge a user fee or limit the number of users you can have. 24/7 live chat support is also available for free.
Some of his strengths include project tracking, time tracking, document management, inventory management, data import, and invoice reconciliation. It also integrates with over 600 other apps to help you better manage your inventory, billing and payroll (offered through Xero‘s partnership with Gusto).
All of its plans include features such as connectivity to bank and credit card accounts, unlimited users and email tech support, and access to important financial reports.
If you run most of your business on the go, Xero offers mobile apps for Android and iOS so you can send customized invoices, manage and track inventory, and create and attach purchase orders to invoices from your tablet or phone.
Organize your financial affairs
The best online accounting software is easy to use, keeps track of your time, income and expenses and is affordable. It should also contain key financial statements so you can see the financial health of your business.
When choosing the one that’s right for your needs, make sure it has (at a minimum) features such as individual billing, credit card and bank account integration, detailed reporting, tax tracking and accessibility so you can get your information from anywhere and anytime you want.